New Kids On The Block: Top 2017 XC Freshman Girls

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Every year there is a new comer or two that enters the high school ranks and really gets into the groove of the high school level really fast.

This year, that new comer or two stretched to a whole list of talented freshman. These freshmen can move the future of Texas high school running forward and beyond f

where the past and current stars have brought it to.

Check out the top seven freshman girls on the season and click on the links to see the top freshman girls in each classification.


Heidi Nielson

The Katy Cinco Ranch star is a legit a freshman as there was this year. Nielson was fortunate enough to have her young talent to be able to join a veteran Cinco Ranch team that has had their fair share of success over the past several years. Nielson ran her way to district and regional titles. The buck didn't stop there as she ran to fourth place in the UIL State Cross Country Championship and a ninth place finish at the Nike Cross Nationals South Regional. That wasn't enough as Nielson then took her talents to the Foot Locker South Regional where she qualified for this weekend's Foot Locker Nationals.

Eva Jess

Last year, El Paso had a star freshman on the boys side and this year, they bring us one on the girls side. El Paso Franklin introduced their young star Eva Jess to the state. Jess wasted no time hitting the nearest course and hitting it hard. She dropped a 19:06.74 in her first meet, which was just sling shot into the rest of her season. Jess would win every meet of the regular season including her first district title. It wasn't until regionals and state that anyone was able to top her. Jess ended her season at the UIL State Cross Country Championship where she placed 5th in 6A right behind fellow freshman Heidi Nielson.

Harli Woolsey

Burleson Centennial had a great season as they ran all of the way to state as a team. The team was led by freshman Harli Woolsey who had herself an awesome freshman. Woolsey ran hard all season and helped her team run all of the way up the rankings. At the state meet, she saved the best for last as she was able to place fourth over all with a 17:59.70 PR.

Brynn Brown

The DFW flexed their muscle this past XC season and that filtered all of the way down into the freshman ranks. Denton Guyer youngster BRYNN BROWN started he season off in a big way. She placed second in her first 5K race going 19:43. That was just the beginning as the very next meet Brown competed at the big time Marcus I Invitational and place 10th in the elite race and a star was born. She dropped down to a 18:18.00 and then two weeks later she would go 18:01.99. Watch out for Brown as elite talent meets elite coach in coach Ponsonby and the future should be as bright as the stars at night.

Libby McGrath

 Who? Libby McGrath is a San Antonio area freshman. Although many may not have heard of her, you definitely will really soon! McGrath didn't run very much this season and not in many places most are accustomed to. McGrath is a home school athlete and has proven that she and other home school athletes can put it down. When she did run, she impressed and she ran fast. She won the Texas A&M Invitational in 18:22.00 against big time competitors. She would run both NXR South and Foot Locker south where she would place 62nd and 18th respectfully. Her 18th place at Foot Locker would see her run to a 18:03.00 PR.

Kaitlyn Rodysill

Northwest Nelson freshman Kaitlyn Rodysill is another freshman who has been a force to reckon with since day one of the season. Rodysill came in running in the 18s from the first meet. She became an important piece of the Nelson team picture and helped that team compete in it's tough district. She ran her way all of the way down to the "Region of Doom" where she placed 20th among some of the state's top runners with a 18:06.87 performance.

Keaton Morrison


Keaton Morrison entered Lewisville Hebron precisely at the right time. Morrison joined a group of girls who were experienced and talented. As Hebron would make it's run at the toughest but most successful season in years, it would get major contributions from a freshman. Morris would be an integral piece as Hebron would win a district title and place second at state. With two sub 19 min runs on the season, Morrison's PR came at the state meet as she would go 18:04.90 for 14th place over all.